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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ending with an Overture

SSUTS (Sobeys Symphony Under the Sky) traditionally ends on Labour Day with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. In the last post, conductor Bob Bernhardt talked about conducting the cannons called for in the score, supplied again this year by the Royal Canadian Artillery. The concert is worth going to for many reasons, but if you've never seen orchestra + live cannons, make a point to go - it's something everyone should experience. But what about those bells?

It's sometimes a surprise to people attending their first SSUTS when everyone around them suddenly pulls out bells and noisemakers of all sorts during the 1812 Overture. Just like it calls for cannons, the score calls for a carillon. Since Hawrelak Park doesn't have such a thing (how many times do we have to perform there before they install one for us, I wonder) the audience is responsible for recreating the bells of Moscow. Just think - how many times can you literally say you'll "be there with bells on"?

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